- Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is promoting the launch of its Place app for Android this week with a game show on YouTube that shows housemates trying to pick out furniture together using the augmented reality (AR) app. The "Matchers Keepers" episodes are available to view on YouTube, but people can also play the matching game at home in the Place app, according to Ad Age.
- The show's two-minute episodes feature two housemates using the app to separately select an item like a couch, lamp or desk, but they can keep the item only if they pick the same one. Lifestyle blogger Caroline Solomon hosts the show, which currently has three episodes featuring pairs of couples who have had difficulty agreeing on furniture choices, with a cheeky tone.
- Ikea Place app for the iPhone rolled out in September when Apple debuts its latest round of smartphones. Agency 72andSunny Amsterdam developed the show as part of the Place app for Android promotion, and dubbed the show as "the pastel-coloured Ikea version of TV game shows like 'The Newlywed Game."
Ikea's AR-enabled app is designed to help people see what furnishings look like in their homes, but anybody who has shopped for furniture with someone else likely recognizes that the process isn't completely devoid of possible disagreements over taste. That's where the "Matchers Keepers" game show comes in. It's a lighthearted, entertaining take on a common frustration among couples or housemates selecting furniture and home decor. At the same time, the shareable YouTube show demonstrates the power of AR to help people virtually decorate their homes before buying items.
The Swedish furniture giant was an early leader in the AR furniture placement technology, demonstrating its app last year as part of Apple's promotions for its ARKit that helps software developers add AR features to apps. Now that Google is ramping up its ARCore platform with a slew of new AR apps, Ikea is kicking up its efforts to reach a bigger audience of Android users who can now access the Place app.
Ikea's experience with creating catalogs and websites filled with images of its furnishings gives the company a foundation for AR technology. Other home decorating companies also are showing off their AR wares this week with similar features, including Lowe's, Overstock, Wayfair and Williams-Sonoma's Pottery Barn chain.